Perception of Chronic Pain

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I have been suffering from chronic pain since 10 years now. My right shoulder, arm and hand are affected from a condition called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome or CRPS in short. I also suffer from a kind of cluster headache condition with this very poetical name:  paroxysmal hemicrania continua. Despite all this problems I look normal, there is no way to see that I am sick. I often hear “you are looking great today”. Pain can only be seen on my face but mainly from people close to me.

To be short these health conditions give me moderate to severe (more severe than moderate) pain in my shoulder, arm and hand that can be described like being stabbed and electrocuted all day and night in those areas. My headaches appear at night and feel like being grabbed by the base of my skull by a clamp and stabbed straight through my head, constantly or in clusters of a minute or two, day and night for up to 6-8 weeks.

There is almost nothing that can be done to cure or stop the pain as for now. Researches are being done all over the world but the authorities, most neurologists and general practitioners are so conservative that the patients are left in distress everywhere. I will not talk about fundings and the dire situation in the public health system all over the world leaving chronic pain sufferers on the side because it is non lethal, too long and too expensive to treat!

These conditions that cause chronic pain make people loose everything: mobility, freedom, sleep, jobs and career, friends, husbands or wives, confidence, memory, creativity, moral as far as their lives. I personally considered this disease, when it stoke  me at 31, as a small death. I had to go through all the stages of grief to reach acceptance of my new self. Without help and with my mind all fuzzed up by the medication!

Then, I had to deal with people preconceived ideas on pain. It goes like this: “did you try this or this ?”, “take a painkiller”, “I had a tooth hache last year, it was sooo painful, I went to this dentist and he made everything better”, “I know someone who had a bad back and went to see this doctor and he/she made him/her better in no time”, etc, etc. This hurts, so far, there is nothing that works for us.

There are sometimes, close ones who will not accept your condition and think that tomorrow you will be cured like that, with a pill. In that situation you cannot even hope to talk about your condition to try to make them understand what it is, how it affects you, how you feel and that you need their help. It makes you feel rejected.

There is also, the difficult journey through the modern medical system who does not have time to listen to the patients anymore. It took me 6 years to find out what really was wrong we me!  In that time I was examined by  neurologists, circulatory specialists, physiotherapists, anaesthetists, radiologists, pain specialists and no one took the time to tell me what was wrong with me! I have chronic pain that’s all.

Finally lets talk a little bit about the state help. Social welfare is doing everything they can to make sure that you are left in dire straits. No help, you are left alone even if you have paid your taxes for years! They do not care. They do not try to understand what is your condition. They make you feel nothing more than a crook that wants to abuse the system. I experienced it first hand. Then, you have the position of governments on researches and access to some medication that are either too expensive or politically too controversial despite the fact that they allow sufferers to resume a quasi-normal life and leave the social welfare system to be independent again!  Worldwide, chronic pain costs as much as cancer, HIV and diabetes costs put together. Last year in the US, chronic pain cost more that the cost of all the war the US is involved in!

No changes are made or way too slowly. I have to say that goes beyond my understanding!

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Tumults

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The past few months a lot of worrying events have happened around the world. From the Brexit in Europe, the election of R. Duterte in the Philippines, D. Trump in the U.S.A, the probable elections of Nationalists in France and Italy. The increase in the influence of V. Putin on the world scene, the war of positioning in the South China sea, etc, etc. The medias call this the rise of populism. Is it only the rise of a racist, ultra conservative and nationalist ideas or is it that people are realising that democracy is broken? And since a very long time, I would add.

Since over 30-40 years the politics have completely lost contact with reality. The markets and big businesses have gone bigger and more powerful. Inequalities are rampant. Our society has become so unjust and split that violence has risen to a point that even politics use violent rhetorics to their advantage and get elected! It is like we are back in the middle ages. The poor are getting poorer, the rich richer and more powerful, workers are being turned gradually into modern slaves by their employers, women are oppressed, unequal and used by men for their pleasure. Freedom is being restricted through theories of fear. Religions are using the powerful to fight their war of dominance over each other. And wars of domination are breaking out everywhere.

So, the masses are turning to the strongest and loudest again. The modern kings or queens are corrupted, unjust and cruel but their words are mesmerising, their violent aura is reassuring. So we put up with them. We accept the system because we are born and grown in it. We have lost our ability to question. And if one tries to ask why and denounce the system, the modern inquisition comes along and gets rid of you or force you back onto the right track. But, I think that our elites have forgotten  that they are only human. They are not unmovable or irreplaceable, they have not been placed in their positions by Gods.

This brings me to my point, these worrying events are in my opinion the beginning of the end of our modern society. This is the end of a cycle, like the end of the Roman empire or the Greek civilisation, the end of the soviet system or colonisations. It is scary but, people are tired of the system. People are seeking their freedom again. People do not trust the elites and the powerful anymore. We are seeing, now, the tumults of a revolution. A revolt against our corrupt political system. The fear of globalisation through the reliance on new technologies is expressing itself through a rise in the fear of others.  Though, new technologies bring new ways to spread the truth about corporations and elites behaviours. Unfortunately, the anger of the masses is being manipulated and comes with the rise of nationalist voices. Our fate is again being taken off our hands!

Why are we not reacting? What stops us changing our societies? The system stops us. It is way to difficult to brake through the web of our modern society system. Education is key to this, in my opinion. We must open the eyes of our youth everywhere (and I mean everywhere) what ever the cost. Science and the scientific way must be taught at an early age. Observation and experimentation must be anchored in a new way to explain the world to our kids. History must be told not only from the point of view of the winners but from an independent sight. Religions must be seen as a personal opinion to spirituality and not dogmas. Philosophy must be explained at a very early age to bring back in our youth the ability to think and analyse by themselves. Equality must become the core of our global economy and political system. We must live in reality, not in a world of political and financial theories that make fear of the unknown the core of their virtual reality. Finally, weapons must be erradicated of our societies.

Otherwise, I am afraid that Stephen Hawkins may be right in saying that we have only another thousand years ahead of us!

 

 

Anger and Desillusion

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Another “terrorist attack” took place in Nice, France. Once more 84 innocent people died for nothing. In Novembre 2015, in Paris 130 people died while having a drink in several cafés and at a concert. January 2015, 17 people died in a satirical news paper and a jewish supermarket. All in the name of Allah! So they say. They are soldiers of ISIS for some. They are weak, uneducated or mentaly disturbed for others who are trying to make sens of all this. These are only the biggest events that have happened in France the last 18 months.

There are several other mass murders of innocent civilians that took place all over the world in the name of Allah or Isis or Boko Haram (to only name the most Mediatic ones): in Mali, US, Libanon, Yemen, Nigeria, Syria, Belgium, Danemark, Irak, Afghanistan, Koweit, India, Pakistan,Turkey, Cameroun, Bengladesh, Somalia, Saoudi Arabia, Ivory Coast, Indonesia, Burkina Fasso, Tunisia, Egypt, Kenya, Tchad, Canada, Australia and France. Since the end of 2013 about 5213 persons died because of “terrorist attacks” it averages at 2600 victims per year. What are our politicians doing to deal with that? They wage war against terrorist  groups which name themselves Boko Haram, ISIS, Al Shabbab, Al Qaïda, Islamic califat of Algeria, Taliban… They enfringe Human Rights, torture, bomb, use drones to launch missiles discretly everywhere they feel like it. War deaths round 150 000 a year in the same period. Who are the worst? Both are bad. Both are inhuman. Both needs to stop.

How can this third world war stop? What can normal civilians do to stop this spiral of violence? Not much I am afraid. Casting a vote does not mean much anymore, lately in most countries in the western world voting means going for the less worst candidate, Cameron or Johnston, Sarkosy or Hollande, Clinton or Trump, Fianna Fáil or Fianna Gael, Greens or Nationalists. In a lot of countries around the world it is either the same situation or the people have no say on who is going to run their country.

All this makes me angry. Our whole way of life is being destroyed little by little and there is nothing we can do about it. The democratic system is stalled by an inteligentia who seems to think they can do what they want in our name. All what they care is the defence of the finance lobbies, weapon industry, energy lobbies and their own carreer.

Let’s take the example of France. The past 3 years France has sold weapons to Egypt, Qatar, Saoudi Arbia, Russia, Austalia, planes to Iran and much more that are “Secret Défence“. This makes the French governement proud as the country is the second largest  weapon maker in the world now and it is good for the economy. The French President Mr Hollande has even given one of the highest distinction of the state to the Saoudi Ministre for justice. A man responsible for the  killing of hundreds of his people and who does not care a bit of basic human rights for his citizens! It has been made quite clear, now, that Qatar, Dubai, Saoudi Arabia are founding the “so called Islamic”terrorism the world over. This simply means that in one hand France trades weaponery with these countries and fight them in proxy wars with the other. What is the logic behind that? I’ll tell you money and cheap oil as well as good ratings for the French President. Another element of understanding is that the state of France does nothing against the openings of Salafist Mosques sponsored by Saoudi money in the country! This mosques have been linked with the radicalisation of numbers of young muslim or not, in France and Belgium. Some of them went on to fight in Syria and Irak or participated in the organisation and perpetrations of mass murders in France and Belgium.

Our politicians are saying that they do everything in their power to protect us. Allow me to worry a bit. This is France, but it is not the only country behaving in such disgusting way : U.K, U.S, Russia, China, Germany, Italy, Israel, Pakistan, Brasil, NATO, Sweden, Belgium, Saoudi Arabia, Ireland, Syria, Algeria, Turkey, Irak, Afghanistan, Iran, etc. They are all involved in this maelstrom. Funny enough, they are the same countries that have suffered terrorist attacks the past 3 years!

AND WE CITIZENS OF THESE COUNTRIES CANNOT DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT AS OUR VOTES MEANS NOTHING TO OUR POLITICIANS!

THIS NEEDS TO CHANGE, LETS TAKE BACK WHAT IS OURS: PEACE, FREEDOM, DEMOCRACY, OUR HUMAN RIGHTS. BORDEL!

PS This is not another plot theory, this is facts.

Religions

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The first thing I must make clear before starting is that I do respect ones spirituality. Everyone has the right of his/her belief.

Saying that, I do belief that religions have nothing to do with spirituality. Let me explain. I think that the evolution of what were a way to deal with the fear of the unknown, animisn, such has the beliefs in the power of nature, the sun or the moon, has gradually become a way to control people. To force people to conform to an idea that surpasses spirituality.

Despite what most religions texts preach such as peace, humanity, empathy, harmony, friendship, respect of the living, etc ; these writings have been Man made, they are a representation of the human best and worst behaviour. The only thing, that really has kept its relation to the first beliefs is the search to know what comes after death. It is still related to a fear of something that we cannot understand.

If we look at the modern religions through time, we can see that it has been left to the interpretation of texts that have been supposed to be given to mankind by hypothetical Gods. This is facts and is not opened to discussion. From then on, humans with their supreme conscious thinking, have been elevated to the superior race on this planet, separated from animals and just under God.

Then, religions have become global and very powerful propaganda machines. You were part of it or became a paria. If you were still believing in the power of nature you were categorised as witches, shamans or pagans. You were savages that were no better that beasts. Then, religious institutions made sure that people were kept in the dark, under educated unless you were rich and powerful and help their hidden agendas. These are more like political behaviours. Then, they made sure to discredit every new discoveries or scientific explanations of the world that went against their so called sacred texts. The examples are numerous : Galileo Galilei, Giordano Bruno, the destruction of the library of Alexandria (which I believe is the first crime against humanity), Darwin, etc.

From that time, despotism became the rule. Every religious orders were making sure to control people by supporting kings and despotes to fight in their name to extend their area of influence. After the discoveries of the 15th and 16th century, Spain and Portugal went to the Pope to divide the world in two. These two powerful empires had to guaranty the protection of christian orders that went in these newly discovered territories to propagate and force their religious beliefs onto indigenous populations.

Then, in the 16th and 17th century, came the so called wars of successions and wars for the control of the seas. These wars were based on alliances between countries under the same religious influences. Dutch and Great Britain (protestant) against France and Spain (catholics) or the barbaresque (muslim and zoroastrianism).

During that time, religion pushed politics to systematically eradicate indigenous populations because they would not change their ancestral beliefs to the ones of the colonisators in South and North America, in Australia and in the Pacific Island. And I am not going to forget the slave trade. That has nothing to do with spirituality, peace, respect for each other and harmony!

It was also the time of the inquisition. The time in which no one were safe from an enemy reporting you to the catholic inquisitor who would after torture make you a good christian by giving the name of five persons or face death. Where is that written in the bible or other texts?

In the same idea there was the holy wars against the muslims in Palestine. There the christian orders pushed the upper classes to participate in the crusades to make sure they entre the kingdom of heaven. Then it was the muslims who pushed their ways onto the old continent and Asia  killing the so called infidels. This is still going on nowadays with the jihadis in the middle east, north Africa and the some part of black Africa. On the top of that there is the jewish massacre of the muslim population in Palestine or the christian unholy war in the middle east for the control of oil.

Finally, there is the theological war between science and religion : Between, creationists and the evolutionists. This is in my opinion, no reason to fight here. How can you compare facts studied in a scientific way and the texts coming from the dark ages that are stories of the life of fictional characters. Science is not the enemy of spirituality but a complement of it. Most of the important scientists throughout history were spiritual people.

Before concluding I cannot mention the way that religion as been made for men by men. Women have absolutely no rights in religions. They are kept uneducated, slaves of their husbands. Their are owned by their husband in most religious laws.

So, in my humble opinion the human race if it wants to evolve towards a better society has to stay away from religions. We should ban them from our societies. They are toxic, all of them. They have enslave the human race into old anachronistic way of living. They have killed millions in the name of gods, whom none of them can prove they are or have existed. Saying that it is not incompatible with mankind being spiritual, in the true sens of it. Not in a biased, political, money driven, despotic way but in the respect of individual right to believe in something bigger, to question the unknown and the respect of all the living inhabitants of Planet Earth.

 

The US Second Amendment

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This subject is one of the concept that I have the most difficulties to understand: The attitude of people in the US towards its Second Amendment. What I cannot get is that such a vast majority of US citizens can protect such a right in view of the damages it makes in their society. The second amendment has been written into the US bills of rights in 1791. Every one has the right to bear arms for self-protection. Come on! We are in 2015. The time of the wild wild west is over. Billy the kid has long gone! What good it was to have a weapon on yourself at the time of Oklahoma City’s bombing or on 9/11/2001? None. Sorry it offered no self-protection. Why spend money on the army, the FBI or the police departments if there is no need for them to protect the citizens?

In view of the gun violence related figures of 2015, 52 000 incidents so far this year, including 329 mass shooting*, 90% of the world mass shootings since 1975. 13 232 people were killed so far in 2015 another 26 681 were injured. 693 children** have been killed by guns in 2015 and another 2 662 teens*** have died in the same way. Finally 20 000 people kill themselves with fire arms every years (source: GunViolenceArchive.org). These figures do not include gang related incidents, terrorist attacks, criminal underground affairs or police shootings. This makes it the 5 or 6th cause of death every year. It does not even make it in the top ten either in the UK or France!

Events such as Columbine’s, Aurora’s or Sandy Hooks or the figures above have absolutely no influence on the US population’s psyche. This Christmas, the sales of weapons as presents has shown an increase of 24% compare to last year (which showed a 17% increase from 2013).  41% of all publicly owned weapons in the world are owned by US citizens. There are over 300 million guns in the US. Only 1/3 of them are hand guns!

In vue of such events and such figures, I believe that in most countries in the world legislations to control and/or prevent the possession of fire arms would be brought in. The pressure of the street would win over any weapons lobby! In the US the consensual solution is always more guns: Guns on campuses, in schools, in public places. Guns to protect yourself from guns!

At  first I though that the weapon industry had such a power over the political class because of its prevalent position in the US economy that it made it very difficult to change the legislation. I was wrong. It is true that the US is the first exporter of weapons in the world with $33 billions in revenue and a about 210 000 jobs, but it is far behind the oil industry, the agro-farming lobby or the tech business! So, why does the weapons lobby has such an influence on politicians and the population in general.

It is through its powerful lobby: the NRA (National Rifle Association). When it was created in 1871 this association had the purpose of “promoting and encourage rifle shooting on a scientific basis.” It is far from its original goals, now! With over 5 million members, it has become one of the most powerful political lobby in the Capitol. It has a budget of $256 million. It has spent a mere $10 million on promoting and defending the second amendment during the last presidential election. Furthermore, it is said that 60% of the population would say no to any changes to the second amendment. So, it is fair to say that if you do not support the NRA and the second amendment, you will not get into office.

Even with such a powerful lobby such as the NRA. The incredible cost of gun violence to the US society: $229 billion, more than six times what it brings into the US economy, should have an incidence on US politicians and the public in general. But, no, the spending on a fair universal health care system, costing $251 billion is more controversial in the eyes of most US people or politicians. And I don’t even want to mention the budget of defense…

No one seems to care about the welfare of people in this country. An universal welfare system does more for a society than the right to bear a weapon! I don’t get it, the right to kill is more important to most US people than the right to live a decent, healthy life! How can you live in such a society?  Guns are not freedom!

How can you in your own mind let this happen?

* Mass shootings: 4+ people per incidents. ** Age: 0 to 10 years old. *** Age: 11 to 18 years old.

A World of Paradoxes

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The societies we live in are ruled by paradoxes. These situations that we have created, for some of them, are the causes of some of the most serious threats faced by our species. They represents the changes that would help us create a better, fairer, safer and more environment friendly society. In my opinion,  it would result in securing the futur of the human race.

I would like to know why we cannot deal with the evidence.

Lets start with the problem of weapons : What I would call the paradox of our self destruction. Weapons are driving our species to the brinks of self extinction. It is black and white : if there was no weapons our society would be safer. Huge amount of money would be freed for the great of good. We all understand that! The views of the US citizens on their right to bear a weapon makes me wonder if a whole nation is in a logic of collective suicide and do not even realize it. No weapons, no wars. No weapons, less oppressions. No weapons, less poverty.  No weapons equals world peace. So, why as an intelligent species can we not suppress weapons from our societies?

Another paradox of our societies is our response towards the environmental problems that we have created, towards the  destruction of our planet. We are doing nothing. At this stage all the causes of the problems that we face are documented and understood. We also know where it is going : the slow and inevitable destruction of life on earth. As far as we know there is only life here on Earth, we, also, understand that we are the cause of all the changes damaging the world that sustain us. Why can we not apply the solutions that would guaranty the sustainability of life on Earth?

All along the development of our societies we have thought about the human condition, its universal rights and its integrity. Since the cylinder of Cyrus “The Great”, several texts have been produced in that optic. The “Déclaration Universelle des Droits de l’Homme” of 1948 is the base of the United Nation. An organisation that has been created to defend these rights on the whole planet above the constitution of any countries. As soon as the UN has been created it was corrupted by the most powerful nations : USA, USSR and the UK. This way the UN is muzzled from the inside. Why creating an organisation to protect the human rights and world peace, spend money to run it but make sure it cannot do what it was intended to do? What is the logic behind this?

Now, probably the most difficult paradox that we have to deal with in our societies : MONEY. We all know that money is the core of all the problems in our societies. All the above, are fed by greed. War are fed by corporations that have corrupted all our governments, to protect their huge profits. The environment is depleted to guaranty the growth of the profits of huge businesses that make sure that the governments of every Nations around the world  do nothing to apply the changes necessary to protect life on our planet. When it comes to Human Rights the “Markets”, these virtual and occult entities, driven by the adoration of the “God Money“, do not even recognize the right to live! Life is nothing to them! It is like anything else for them : just a commodity. We created these systems, We can change them if we want to! Why do we do nothing about it?

There are many more paradoxes in our societies. Religions and our need to believe in something bigger then us, that does not exists. So many lives have been wasted for religions! Racism, fed on the belief that one is superior than the other and on the rejection of differences between people. How stupid this is. Now, we know that we are one species amongst millions of other species and that genetically speaking we are all different and unique.

Humans are a paradox of the universe. Leaving in a world of paradoxes. We have, therefor created our societies on paradoxes. It is true that there are some of them that we can only try to understand, but many of them are of our own making. These ones have been recognized and can be acted upon to make every individuals in our societies equal, safe and sustained on the bases that Nature is what rules the world we live in : The Earth.

Climate Change Conference 2015

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Here we are, another world meeting to “save the planet”. Our world leaders, well their collaborators, are all in Paris to discuss the health of our poor Earth. All sponsored by pretty heavy polluters! This makes me very frustrated and pissed off.

You might think that I am very negative about the outcome of this conference but I do not believe that anything will change until the real cause of the pollution and the real actors of the destruction of our planet are at the table. In my humble opinion what our world leaders should agree upon is to severely target the businesses who are polluting right left and centre for the only purpose of making money, money, and more money. And this agreement should be to systematically find, screen and force these oil giants, coal lobbyist, car makers, war salers, pesticides pushers, etc, etc to revise their copy and put their huge amount of money towards researches for non invasive, non changing, non destructive means to HELP the environment, the human race and every leaving things on the planet.  Or else face severe controls by an independent body elected by non political or business orientated people. And this organisation should have unlimited powers to achieve its mission.

I believe that political vues, religious beliefs, market entities, money matters, lobbies of all sorts have nothing to do in the solving of this very serious problem. The above are the cause of the global destruction of our planet. As humans we have been given the gift to be conscious beings. This mean that we are able to be aware of ourselves in our environment and to understand and act on it. So, the responsibility to respect and protect the planet is on our shoulders. Us, the race at the top of the food chain.

The facts are very simple and clear. It is black and white. As far as we know Earth is the only planet where we can live in the universe. We, humans are the only one, exploiting, changing and destroying it. We are the only one who are advanced enough to do something about it. We have the knowledge, the abilities and power to change the society  we live in.

It is not on politicians or religious leaders, business owners or market entities that we should rely on to drive the changes that need to be made in our way of life. We should only follow scientists, philosophers and elders in the making of a united, responsible, fair and environmentally friendly society.

We should stop reflecting on our place in the universe or in a next life. We have to find our place in the globally integrated system that is the earth,  first. This is what we need to achieve very quickly, the rest will follow as an evidence.

Post Scriptum : Here, I am not looking at pushing forward any society model over another. I am just expressing my frustration over the way that issue of the environment protection is dealt with.